Born/Date of Birth: 21 February 1978
Place of Birth: Karachi, Pakistan
Height: 1.74 m
Occupation: Comedian, actor, screenwriter, podcaster
Spouse(s): Emily V. Gordon(m. 2007)
Relatives: Shereen Nanjiani(second cousin)
Kumail Ali Nanjiani (born 1977 or 1978) is an Pakistani-American comedian, actor, screenwriter and podcaster known for his role as Dinesh on HBO's comedy series Silicon Valley (2014–2019) and for co-writing and starring in the romantic comedy The Big Sick (2017). For co-writing the latter with his wife, Emily V. Gordon, he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. In 2018, Time named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world.
Nanjiani has also voiced Prismo on the animated series Adventure Time and starred in the TNT series Franklin & Bash and the Adult Swim series Newsreaders. He also co-hosted the Comedy Central show The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail, as well as playing various roles on the comedy series Portlandia. He starred in the action film Stuber (2019) and will play Kingo Sunen in the Marvel Cinematic Universe film The Eternals.
Nanjiani was born in 1977 or 1978 and grew up in Karachi, the first of two sons of Sindhi couple Shabana and Aijaz Nanjiani. His brother was born in 1982. Nanjiani was raised as a Shia Muslim, though he later became an atheist. Scottish Pakistani radio presenter Shereen Nanjiani is his second cousin. During his childhood, he lived in Karachi and attended St. Michael's Convent School for his O Levels and graduated from Karachi Grammar School to complete his A Levels. At 18, he moved to the U.S. and enrolled at Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa, where he graduated in 2001 with a double major in computer science and philosophy.
In July 2011, Nanjiani and X-Play staffer Ali Baker began hosting a video game-themed podcast, titled The Indoor Kids. In late August of the same year Baker left the show and Nanjiani began hosting with his wife, Emily V. Gordon. Until other commitments took over, he appeared regularly on Dan Harmon's podcast Harmontown, where he played Dungeons & Dragons with Harmon as a character named Chris de Burgh. He played a delivery man in the 2013 film, The Kings of Summer. In addition to guest-starring in various comedy shows like Portlandia, Nanjiani was featured in a supporting role in the TNT series Franklin & Bash. He played the role of Pindar Singh, an agoraphobic fiction nerd working for the title characters.
Nanjiani guest-starred on HBO's Veep as a statistician. He had a recurring role of Amir Larussa on Newsreaders, as well as Prismo on Adventure Time. His Comedy Central special titled Beta Male aired in July 2013. In late June 2013, Comedy Central announced the pickup of a show The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail hosted by Jonah Ray and Nanjiani. The show, featuring Nerd Melt comedy regulars and various comedians, began airing in July 2014. In April 2014, he began playing the character Dinesh in the HBO sitcom Silicon Valley. He voiced Reggie in the video game The Walking Dead: Season Two. In July 2014, Nanjiani hosted a weekly podcast titled The X-Files Files, dedicated to discussion and fond reminiscences about The X-Files. Each episode features him and a guest, including former The X-Files writers, producers, actors and directors, in light-hearted banter about one or two episodes of the series. On July 30, 2014, Nanjiani appeared on Ken Reid's TV Guidance Counselor Podcast.TV Guidance Counselor Podcast: TV Guidance Counselor Episode 26: Kumail Nanjiani
In 2015, Nanjiani guest-starred in an episode of Broad City called "In Heat". Starting on March 22, 2015 he provided his voice for the character of Mshak Moradi in the Hunt the Truth audio drama, part of the marketing campaign for Halo 5: Guardians. On May 5, 2015, he appeared on Inside Amy Schumer in the episode "12 Angry Men Inside Amy Schumer", a parody of 12 Angry Men, as one of the members of the jury. In July 2015, Nanjiani provided guest voices on Aqua Teen Hunger Force and Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero. In November 2015, he starred in an Old Navy TV commercial together with Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Snoop Dogg. In April 2016, he starred in another Old Navy advertisement with SNL cast members Jay Pharoah, Cecily Strong, and Nasim Pedrad.
In 2017, Nanjiani starred in the romantic comedy film The Big Sick, which he wrote with his wife Emily V. Gordon. The film is about their relationship, with Nanjiani playing himself and Zoe Kazan playing Gordon (renamed Emily Gardner). The film was one of the most acclaimed films of 2017, and was chosen by American Film Institute as one of the top 10 films of the year and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. The film was also the third highest grossing independent film released in 2017, grossing over 40 million dollars.
In 2019, Nanjiani headlined the first episode of the CBS All Access revival of the anthology series The Twilight Zone. For his role on The Twilight Zone, Nanjiani received a nomination for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series. In film, Nanjiani voiced the alien Pawny in Men in Black International, which was released on June 14. Nanjiani stated, "I play an alien so you won't see my face but you'll hear my voice, I'm a little alien frog/lizard... thing." Nanjiani also stars in the action-comedy film Stuber, released on July 12. In 2020, Nanjiani lent his voice to Plimpton, an ostrich, in Dolittle. Nanjiani wrote for and produced the Apple TV+ anthology series Little America, which premiered in January 2020. The series is based on the story collection of the same name from Epic Magazine which focuses on stories from immigrants. To promote the series, Nanjiani appeared at the Apple Event of March 25, 2019.
In March, 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, Nanjiani and his wife Emily Gordon launched a podcast, Staying In with Emily and Kumail. The series chronicles their experiences as a couple forced to live in isolation during the global pandemic. The podcast has been widely acclaimed in the media, as a welcome respite during a period of high anxiety. GQ described it as "consistently endearing, actually useful, and often hilarious." New York Magazine relates that "all advice is shared via cute and charming banter."
Nanjiani will costar with Issa Rae in The Lovebirds, to be directed by Michael Showalter and released by Paramount Pictures. Furthermore, Nanjiani will star in the Marvel Cinematic Universe film The Eternals. The Eternals is set to be released on February 12, 2021, with Nanjiani playing Kingo Sunen. In February 2020, Nanjiani signed on to star in The Independent, a political thriller to be directed by Amy Rice.
In 2007 at Chicago City Hall, Nanjiani married author, producer, and former couples and family therapist Emily V. Gordon. She was the producer of The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail (2014–2016).